Mannequin Blu-ray Review
There was a common 80’s movie shtick where the lovable loser would somehow end up with a beautiful, helpless girl that would fulfill his every desire and be madly, hopelessly in love with her hero. No movie exemplified this fantasy more than MANNEQUIN. I can’t imagine anyone catching it for the first time will appreciate its 80’s charm, but this is a film I grew up with and features one of my first loves, Kim Cattrall, long before her days on ‘Sex and the City’. So although I know it’s borderline misogynistic and completely outdated, I couldn’t help but enjoy it.
Jonathan (McCarthy) is a talented young artist that creates a beautiful mannequin. But he gets fired from his job and one day while walking past a store window, he sees the same mannequin. Still enamored with it, he gets a job at the department store and while working one night, the mannequin magically comes to life. He and the mannequin, Emmy (Cattrall), work together to make awesome window displays and that gets the attention of an evil rival (Spader) that is set on taking over the department store and firing Jonathan. Mesach Taylor shows up as the flamboyantly gay friend Hollywood and POLICE ACADEMY vet G.W. Bailey provides more comic relief as an overzealous security guard.
And yeah, just writing that brief synopsis was a little embarrassing, but the movie makes it work by not taking itself too seriously. It knows how ridiculous it is and although they try to portray genuine love between Jonathan and Emmy, the rest of the film is more tongue in cheek. I was amused by the attempt to explain how Emmy came to life (she was supposedly an Egyptian princess transported through time) since the explanation actually made an already silly film even more so. But the charm in the film is the romantic relationship between Jonathan and Emmy.
The film is helped greatly by Andrew McCarthy, who had just put the finishing touches on his Brat Pack career and was starting to lead his own films. He was still young and charming and the film needed every ounce of energy he put into it. Emmy was a tough character to play since she had to be intentionally dumb, yet had to be strong enough to inspire Jonathan. Kim Cattrall did fine with the role, but really her job was to make every pre-teen boy fall in love with her and in my case, she succeeded.
I’m always curious what kids today think of these “classic” 80’s movies when they watch them for the first time and nostalgia definitely plays a big part in my appreciation of MANNEQUIN. A movie like this couldn’t be made today for fear it would play too misogynistic, homophobic or even borderline racist. I don’t think it was trying to be any of those things and if we take a step back and appreciate it for what it is (a lighthearted, romantic fantasy), I think we can find a reason to enjoy it.
Video: This is probably as good as MANNEQUIN will ever look, but it does have some problems. So don’t go into this thinking it’s going to be crystal clear.
Audio: The audio was fine.